Gin and Bitter lemon

GordonsWorking for the employment agency meant that I was generally driven to a place of work without previous information of its whereabouts or what the work consisted of.I saw the whole thing as somewhat of an adventure even though I needed the money. I was curious to see what the day would bring… Obviously it was not the same for the ordinary staff that I worked with and where I showed up on temporary basis.

When I found myself at the Gordon Gin’s plant for example it was all about fitting in whether I thought that the breaks were unnecessary long or unnecessary many. My job was to feed the empty bottles into the processing line. They came in cardboard boxes and were fed upside down. After a while someone would relieve me and I would go into a canteen where tea was drunk and cards were played. Obviously in our automated and computerized world such jobs do not any longer exist.

The London gin is famous and one of its main brands is and was Gordon’s. The factory has long ago moved to Scotland but I know that it was established in London by Alexander Gordon , a Londoner of Scottish descent, in 1769. All production moved to the Gordon’s Goswell Rd. site in 1898. It was here that I worked in 1972. Once I was invited to go up and look down into a vat which almost knocked me off with the alcohol fumes I inhaled.

Another big company that I made a brief encounter with was the Schweppes plant where Bitter Lemon was produced. The strong smell of lemon peel stays with me as a memory of a drink I have never bought. Wonder if anyone ever drinks it today and if so in what manner!